Those who watched the closing ceremonies for the recently-ended Rio Olympics held in Brazil more than likely noticed a few familiar characters. [Thanks, Anime News Network.]
In the video symbolizing the transition to Tokyo, Japan, where the 2020 summer Olympics will be held, many recognizable faces appeared in the video, including Mario, Doraemon, Hello Kitty, Pac-Man, and more. However, it was quite surprising to not see Pokémon represented in some way in the video, given its worldwide popularity.
Buzzfeed Japan has heard from an unidentified Tokyo Olympic/Paralympic Committee member who cites the reason for not having Pokémon appear in the Tokyo video was that the closing ceremony began preparations back in January, long before Pokémon GO appeared on the scene and swept the world up into its craze. Additionally, they felt Pokémon was not known well enough on a global scale. In comparison, Mario games have sold 320 million copies worldwide, while the Pokémon franchise has sold 200 million.